With Jeff Koons, the Museum Brandhorst has another artist, along with Damien Hirst, who is considered one of the superstars of contemporary art. Born in 1955 in York/Pennsylvania, Koons studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the ’70s. In 1976 he moved to New York, where he still lives today, initially working in the Museum of Modern Art and as a Wall Street commodities broker for several years. Koons’ early group of works "The New" (1979–1987), in which he presented brand-new Hoover vacuum cleaners and polishers in Plexiglass cabinets with neon lighting, is very much in the tradition of the readymade. Since then, he has consistently focussed on testimonies to popular culture and kitsch in his work, that he either imitates or modifies. He makes use of almost all media and formats available in the visual arts for the transformation of the motifs he selects. Focal points in his art are the banality of the everyday and the aesthetics of advertising, as well as the Rococo and even pornography. He is not concerned about the artistic creation of an object being carried out by himself and frequently has his sculptures of glass, porcelain, stainless steel or wood made by craftsmen.
The work "Amore" (1988) in the Brandhorst Collection is one of the artist’s early works from the "Banality" series. The seemingly kitschy porcelain sculpture is of a teddy bear in nappies on a decorative, Rococo-style base. The "soft" toy, with its perfectly shaped, high-gloss surface and its child-like naïvety, plays on the innocence and blind trust of the viewer. The other twenty well-known works in this series include the gold and white, larger-than-life depiction of Michael Jackson with his chimpanzee, Bubbles, on his lap (1988) and the torso of a topless blonde clutching a soft Pink Panther toy in her arm (1988).